Anthony Paul Farley: Abolition & the Inversion of Surveillance

Anthony Paul Farley: Abolition & the Inversion of Surveillance

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Off Campus

1717 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Structures of Dissonance: Aesthetics Beyond Capital? Lecture Series

In partnership with CalArts School of Critical Studies, ICA LA and CalArts present Structures of Dissonance: Aesthetics Beyond Capital?, a three-part lecture series which explores the proposition that aesthetics be utilized in resistance to dominant power structures.

About the Lecture 

Police, prison, bosses, wage-slavery, and racism—the basic foundation stones of capitalist modernity—require surveillance. Surveillance, in turn, requires the creation of a visual field. Race is not a simple object in the visual field; race is the visual field. Race is the interest that orients all objects as a field of vision, and which makes police, prison, bosses, and wage-slavery possible. Abolition—"goodbye to all that"—begins with the inversion of surveillance (sousveillance) and the creation of a new field of vision, utterly incompatible with the old. Anthony Paul Farley’s presentation focuses on the inversion of surveillance and abolition’s new world.

Professor Anthony Paul Farley‘s work has appeared in chapter form in Bandung Global History and International Law: Critical Pasts and Pending Futures (Eslava et al. eds., Cambridge University Press: forthcoming); Hip Hop and the Law (Bridgewater et al. eds., Carolina Academic Press: 2015); After the Storm: Black Intellectuals Explore the Meaning of Hurricane Katrina (Troutt ed., The New Press: 2007); Cultural Analysis, Cultural Studies & the Law (Sarat & Simon eds., Duke University Press: 2003); Crossroads, Directions & a New Critical Race Theory (Valdes et al. eds., Temple University Press: 2002); Black Men on Race, Gender & Sexuality (Carbado ed., NYU Press: 1999); and Urgent Times: Policing and Rights in Inner-City Communities (Meares & Kahan eds., Beacon: 1999). His writings have appeared in numerous academic journals, including the Yale Journal of Law & Humanities, the NYU Review of Law & Social Change, the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, the Michigan Journal of Race & Law, Law & Literature, UCLA's Chicano Latino Law Review, the Berkeley Journal of African American Law & Policy, the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, and the Columbia Journal of Race & Law.

About the Series 

The political claim of contemporary art, specifically since the mid-twentieth century avant-garde, has often been hinged upon a politics of resistance, antagonism and difference. In such case, a political art does not structure power, but rather un-structures it in creative forms of its destabilization. Often this form of art has been identified as an aesthetic experience, since the experience of sensory phenomena resists the top-down ordering and instrumental functions of rational languages and aesthetics can therefore claim to be akin to an indifferent nature that withdraws from any direct confrontation with power. In the context of the sublime condition of neo-liberal techno-capitalism, with its unstable environments of high-frequency exchanges and unregulated markets we also see resistance, where the delirious, alienating and dissonant experience of capital divides us, and estranges us from ourselves and each other, proliferating difference under the principle of accumulation. However, it is clear that these dissonant affects in capital calcify strict social inequalities in race, gender, class and labor and this leaves us wondering: what structures, orders and principles are relied upon and constructed in art’s claim to aesthetic resistance? Do we require structures, rule and order in order even in the claims to critical indifference and if so does this limit the capacity for critique as a form of resistance today?